Information Architecture (IA) in Content Management Systems should be oriented to increase components re-usability throughout the solution. IA in Sitecore is no exception and this can be accomplished using atomic Sitecore templates with its correspondent renderings for display. Furthermore, the composition of these atomic modules based on content, business and design requirements creates a set of Page templates, very useful for Content Authors to help them start creating pages that adhere to design and content publishing standards of the organization.

High level steps to implement and atomic module design approach in Sitecore:

  1. Identify atomic pieces of content that are repetitive through the pages and that should maintain the same look and feel like hero banners, carousels, touts, promo modules, etc. Each one of these Base Modules should be modeled as a Sitecore Template with its respective View/Controller Rendering.
  2. Create a Sitecore Layout that contains a Placeholder where all the Base Modules renderings will be placed.
  3. Based on content and design requirements create Page Templates that inherit from the previous Base Modules templates. Sitecore allows multiple inheritance. None of these page templates should have sections or fields of their own. In the Standard Values of the templates, set the Main Layout from step 2 and the renderings of the Based Modules that were configured as parents.
  4. At code level, create C# modules that match the Base Modules templates fields. Remember to code the Views to provide Experience Editor support like in-line editing using the out of the box Sitecore MVC API. Alternatively, you could use an ORM like Glass.Mapper ( This third-party tool accommodates very well with the atomic design approach with the use of what they call Rendering Models, more information here: .

Would you like to take your solution to the next level from a content authoring perspective?

In a follow up post, I’ll present a case study where I explain step by step the implementation of a solution following these atomic design principles.


José Pablo Villalobos

Technical Architect in POSSIBLE with 5 years of experience building Sitecore solutions and 10 years as a software developer. Passionate about delivering user-centered solutions and trying new technologies.

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